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A Century Celebration: Woman Suffrage in South Dakota 1868-1918

“A Century Celebration: Woman Suffrage in South Dakota 1868-1918” will be the focus  of a November 5th event, 7:00 p.m., Ramkota River Centre, Pierre. 

Ruth Page Jones, South Dakota Humanities Council scholar from Waukesha, Wisc., will speak on women’s struggle to gain the right to vote in the U.S., and more specifically in South Dakota. Page Jones received her Master of Arts in History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She is a native South Dakotan.

Page Jones will present a slideshow celebrating the century anniversary of women's suffrage in South Dakota. In it, she reviews the key moments, key individuals, and key issues that helped women achieve voting rights in the United States in 1920 and specifically in 1918 in South Dakota.

In addition, Emma Reitzel, a student at Riggs High School and National History Day finalist, will present her YouTube presentation on the Women’s Christian Temperance Union and its influence on the fight for women’s rights. 

The presentation is co-sponsored by the South Dakota Humanities Council and Pierre/Ft. Pierre branch, American Association of University Women. 


Ruth's  talk, “A Century Celebration: Woman Suffrage in South Dakota 1868-1918” will be the focus of the November 5th event. Ruth has a slideshow celebrating the century anniversary of woman suffrage in South Dakota where she reviews the key moments, key individuals, and key issues that helped women achieve their equal voting rights in the United States in 1920 and, more specifically, in South Dakota in 1918.

Her program delivers background on the significant historical events that gave women the right to vote in South Dakota. The hundredth anniversary of woman suffrage in South Dakota provides a timely moment to remind people that women did not always enjoy equal voting rights. The fight to achieve those rights has often been overlooked in general histories of South Dakota politics. By focusing on the fight for women’s rights, this presentation gives audiences a greater appreciation for the important role women played in the early history of the state.

Ruth is a native South Dakotan now living in Wisconsin, her hometown is Plankinton, and she attended Mount Marty for two years after high school. She  then obtained her BA at the University of South Dakota. Ruth is also a member of the League of Women Voters. 


Here is a little information on my background and qualifications.  

Ruth Page Jones received her Master of Arts in History from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2015, completing a thesis that studied rural women in South Dakota in the early settlement years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in German and Political Science at the University of South Dakota, followed by a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Computer Science at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside. Following careers in computer technology, political advocacy, and charitable non-profit work, she is now pursuing her interest in discovering and documenting the local histories of communities and women in South Dakota. 

Jones has written the chapter on School Suffrage for the upcoming book, “Equality at the Ballot Box:Votes for Women on the Northern Great Plains," to be published in 2019 by the South Dakota Historical Society. She has also been invited to participate in several conference panels in 2019 throughout the United States on the topic of Woman Suffrage. In October, 2017, she published the article, "Jean Todd, Pioneer Nurse" in the South Dakota History Journal.  In 2020, the journal will publish another article she has authored on the South Dakota woman suffrage story. Since 2014, Jones has presented local history talks each year at the Dakota Conference in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, receiving their Carol Mashek Endowed Award in Women’s History for her 2018 paper on woman suffrage in South Dakota, and their Western Studies Student Award in 2015.